My research and technical support are mainly focused on the grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.) and are developed on four main areas:
Genotype-environment interaction. The whole genome sequencing of three ‘Nebbiolo’ clones is the starting point for the study of the interactions between genotype and climatic conditions of cultivation, that define the wine terroir. The research is carried out using agronomic, transcriptomics (RNA-seq) and epigenomics (BS-seq) approaches, in order to link gene expression profiles between three clones and four different cultural environments. In parallel, the interaction between genotype and environment is also studied in vitro on ‘Sangiovese’ and ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’, in order to characterize the plasticity of somatic embryogenesis and study the molecular mechanisms underlying this process (the study of genes WOX in Arabidopsis plants genetically transformed).
Plant-pathogen interaction. The study of plant responses to biotic and abiotic stresses is conducted through transcriptomics (microarray, RNA-seq e qRT-PCR), small RNAs (miRNAs and vsiRNA) and epigenomics analysis, with particular attention to major grape viruses (GRSPaV and GFkV) and phytoplasmas (Flavescence dorée) and/or under water stress conditions.
Genotyping and sanitary status of clones. Identification of molecular markers SNP (single nucleotide polymorphism), in order to develop techniques for genotyping using Taqman method in order to discriminate clones. Diagnosis of major virus and phytoplasma with serological and molecular techniques.
Genetic biodiversity. Genetic characterization, through the use of microsatellite markers or SSR (simple sequence repeat) of grapevine from Piedmont, Italy and other Counties, for the purpose of: fingerprinting, synonyms and homonyms identification, pedigree relationships and genetic structure of cultivated and wild germplasm, in order to recovering and preserving grape biodiversity.
During my PhD and postdoc grants at the University of Turin, I coordinated and carried out research about the genetic characterization of hazelnut (Corylus avellana L.) germplasm using microsatellite markers, concerning: fingerprinting, recovery and preservation of biodiversity, population genetics, origin and spread of cultivars, construction of linkage maps for QTL (quantitative trait loci) associated with resistance and agronomic traits